Tuscaloosa, Alabama Sorority Celebrates 6 Decades of Excellent Programming and Service
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® was “founded on a mission comprised of five basic tenets that have remained unchanged since the sorority’s inception more than a century ago.” The commitment to “Service to All Mankind” extends into West Alabama with Eta Xi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®.
Through the years, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® has “used the Sisterhood as a grand lever to raise the status of African-Americans, particularly girls and women.” This week the prominent Eta Xi Omega Chapter is celebrating the 60th Anniversary of their impact in Tuscaloosa County.
For over 6 decades Tuscaloosa County has been exposed through Eta Xi Omega Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated® to scholarships, fiscal literacy, wellness initiatives, voter registration, supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and the list is endless on the various service projects that have been implemented in West Alabama.
As an essential part of the Tuscaloosa community, Eta Xi Omega stays extremely active with the initiatives of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s Corporate Office. Donna Easterwood, President of the chapter said that “it has been a pleasure working with and leading over 240 strong sorority members in Eta Xi Omega Chapter for the last year who are bent on service to the community. I am constantly amazed by their fortitude and dedication to the purposes and ideals of our chapter and to Alpha Kappa Alpha. Our members make leadership look easy; they make my administration shine with their daily efforts to bring light to the various programs of our chapter. I am happy to celebrate six decades of excellent programming and service in the community – 1961-2021.”
Irene Byrd, a former president and Chairwoman of the 60th Anniversary Milestone, shared with News Director Don Hartley insight on Eta Xi Omega Chapter and what is planned for the future of the chapter’s partnership with the community. Here is a snippet of the interview.
Irene Byrd shared that Eta Xi Omega was chartered on November 11, 1961, in the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama as part of the South Eastern Region at a chartering ceremony which was held at the Benjamin Barnes Branch of the YMCA. It was the first chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated chartered following the 1961 national convention.
Eta Xi Omega Chapter’s Charter Members
There were 14 charter members of Eta Xi Omega which are Ruby Cobb, Alyce Epps, Yvonne Fluker, Emma Jean Holmes, Eula Danzy, Irene Hubbard, Lula Hudson, Frances Moffett, Osie Sanders, Ophelia Underwood, Minnie Washington, Wilma D. Webb, Nancy Williams, and Mary R. Wright. Members who immediately transferred into the chapter were Evelyn Rich, Mary Pendleton, and Evelyn Wysinger.
Eta Xi Omega Chapter’s First Officers
Eta Xi Omega chapter’s first officers were Nancy Williams, President; Ophelia Underwood, Vice President; Irene Hubbard, Recording Secretary; Lula Hudson, Corresponding Secretary; Mary Wright, Treasurer; Eula Danzy, Public Relations Director; Frances Moffett, Parliamentarian; Ruby Cobb and Ophelia Underwood, Sponsors of the Interest Club at Stillman College.
Eta Xi Omega Chapter’s First Service Project
On February 10, 1962, the chapter held its first service project by conducting a workshop for the National Health Project with local physician Dr. J. W. Robinson.
Eta Xi Omega Chapter’s First Initiates
In 1962, the first members were initiated into Eta Xi Omega. They were Lula T. Beatty, Maggie S. Bozeman, and Annie Grace Robinson.
Stillman College and University of Alabama Connection
Eta Xi Omega Chapter supervised the chartering of the Delta Sigma Chapter at Stillman College on March 23, 1963. Ophelia Underwood was the first advisor. Theta Sigma Chapter was chartered at the University of Alabama on April 14, 1974. Nancy Williams served as the first advisor.
The chapter also supervised the chartering of other undergraduate chapters that were later transferred to graduate chapters once they were established. Lambda Eta at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi on February 5, 1977, and Mu Eta at the University of West Alabama (formerly Livingston University) in May of 1978.
In 1980, the expansion of graduate chapters was derived from Eta Xi Omega. The Nu Nu Omega Chapter was chartered in Livingston, AL in 1980, and Nu Epsilon Omega was chartered in Columbus, MS in 1980.
The 60th Milestone has been one of reflection. Irene Byrd, Chairman of the 60th Anniversary Milestone said that according to one of our 1948 AKA Sorority Historians, “there is a series of interesting and dramatic incidents about Alpha Kappa Alpha which if arranged in order and translated with techniques of effective writing would make a story worth telling and selling.”
Likewise, Eta Xi Omega’s story is worth telling and worth selling. We want to toot our own horn; we want to proclaim our rich heritage through radio, social media outlets various news sources, and by word of mouth. We want the community to know and never forget that service is who we are and that our 60-years of excellent programming in West Alabama has been at the forefront of our Chapter’s ongoing work.
Eta Xi Omega, along with the Cultured Pearls Foundation, (the charitable/non-profit arm of the chapter) will highlight all of the exceptional charitable community service projects throughout the year. Each of the five Targets will designate and fund a worthy charitable cause for the anniversary’s culminating public event.”
The Chapter will celebrate its Five Targets:
- Target 1-HBCU For Life: A Call to Action
- Target 2-Women’s Healthcare and Wellness
- Target 3-Building Your Economic Legacy
- Target 4-The Arts
- Target 5-Global Poverty
Byrd would like to thank those Co-Chairs and Former Presidents on the committee for their valuable input and legacy of leadership to Eta Xi Omega Chapter: Josephine Brown Dantzler, Etta Hobson Felton, Joyce Coffey Grant, Marion Bryant Hobson, Emma Holmes Melton, Octavia Jones Miles, Pamela Hudson Pruitt, B. Joyce Stallworth, Robbie Gosa Washington, Jacqueline Cook Williams, and Angela Jenkins Wright.
Click here for more from the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.
Information from the “Timeless History Book - Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Timeless Service in West Alabama: The Golden Legacy of Eta Xi Omega Chapter” used with permission by Author, Irene Isaac Byrd, who is cited as a community contributor on this story.
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